It's time to do some tooting for my latest book: How to not get Screwed by a Self-Publishing Company.
Self-publishing companies enable anyone who can type to quickly become a "published author" and compete for the attention of the reading public. There is no longer a need to go through the years-long process of finding an agent and publisher.
Sadly, these companies publish a lot of badly written books, and sometimes do a bad job of publishing and promoting them. Their writer/customers spend a lot of money, and many customers are greatly disappointed in the quality of their books and the limited sales and book reviews. You can minimize disappointment if you are properly prepared—and this book will prepare you!
Don’t buy services and trinkets that you don’t need. Pay the right prices for what you do need. Let the publisher do the tech stuff that you don’t want to get involved in, and concentrate on the creative process (perhaps with a independent editors and designers) to make a good-reading, good-looking book which you can be proud of and maybe make money from.
It's critical that you remember that when Random House sells a million books, they make money from the books. When Outskirts Press sells 14 books, they need to supplement their income by selling bookmarks, postcards and press releases.
You may get seduced by ads promising "free" publishing or publishing for $199, but pressure from "advisers" may boost your bill into the thousands. A lot of what the companies want to sell you is available for much less, or even for free, elsewhere.
For a while Outskirts offered to sell authors customized Keds sneakers with images of a book cover for $99. Now they try to sell $49 T-shirts that you can get from Zazzle for $12.95.
Balboa and DellArte charge $90 for a Library of Congress Control Number registration. You can get one for FREE, with a few minutes’ work.
The book includes revealing comments from customers and former employees of several major self-publishing companies.
Here's the table of contents: